Monday, 29 August 2011


This is a collection of a number of different sessions at my computer.  I’m better at collecting thoughts when I can write them as I have the time.  I’ve not dated each entry but simply typed the day on which I wrote it…in essence, I’m treating this blog more like a journal.  (Don’t think you have to read this post all at once…it’s not that serious, you can always come back to it…I just want to put  some of my thoughts out there to help myself and possibly inspire you, too…or at the very least make you think about the creative side of yourself as you go through your day.)

THURSDAY:  I’ve just come in from kayaking around the small lake that’s near our house.  My timing is good because there’s something in the air and I feel that rain is coming and the river is waiting.  There’s been a change in the wind and the clouds are turning the water a steely blue and the beautiful Canadian Flag in the backyard is becoming agitated.  It’s lovely out there and in spite of the fact the lake is surrounded by the city my time on the water is always pleasant and quiet.  I’m lucky to live in a wonderful city where I can spend my time near the water and watch the ducks, geese, muskrats, beaver and all other forms of nature or I can take advantage of the city and shop, go to outdoor concerts, enjoy art galleries or just walk along beautiful paths with my dog.  There are boundless things I can do in this area…and as you can tell I love it here.

This is the best time of the year…mid-August…the nights are cooler and the mornings require a light sweater while we read the paper on the verandah.  But, the mid-day sun is warm and we  can still swim in the river, ride our bikes or do any outdoor activity we want to without being too hot.  And the Fall flowers are at there best and look cheerily out from the garden beds in the many parks and walkways that wind through the city.  Sure, it marks the end of summer but it’s a bonus time of the year!  There are beautiful colours in an ever changing landscape, and local fruits and vegetables are at their best.

I enjoy looking at natural things…it makes me feel balanced.  I see art in almost everything I look at.  Small compositions that catch the eye.  Everything has a balance to it…think about that next time you look at something…anything.  Right now I’m looking at my neighbour’s Feather Grass.  It’s tall and it’s very delicate looking.  The wind is blowing it but for as much as it blows one way when the wind stops the Feather Grass moves back into the opposite direction…like the pendulum on a metronome…until it stops and the next gust of wind comes along and causes it to sway again.  There’s balance in the movement.  The tops of the grass are a soft camel colour while the stems are green except at the bottom where they are the same colour as the ‘feathers’…again, balance.

Well, the rain I was so sure was coming turned out to be short-lived and it looks like it’s going to be a calm and lovely evening.

SUNDAY:  The last few days have been spectacular weather-wise so I’ve spent much of my time outside…kayaking, swimming and I actually got in a game of golf.  But today it is cool and overcast…more like the late August days we’ve ‘normally’ had over the past several years.  Part of the reason there’s been a drastic change in the weather from yesterday is because Hurricane Irene has been tormenting the Eastern Coastline of the U.S. and Canada and has blown some of it’s furious wind inland.  I do feel badly for all those people that have had to batten down hatches and then watch much of their belongings cast away in the storm…some of the videos on the news have been shocking.  It makes one realize how small we are in the scheme of things when it comes to the natural elements…we are so small and powerless at times.

Today I’ve been milling some ideas around in my head for some jewellery designs and while nothing has taken total form for me yet I’ve got some good ideas and ones that I will probably take further.  One of the things I am considering is a medallion of a Canadian Lynx.  I’d base my design on a piece of sculpture I started last year but was unable to finish because of a crack in it that was deeper than I had originally thought.  My disappointment in not completing it was great; however, I think a silver pendent of the beautiful animal could be quite stunning.

ALREADY BEAUTIFUL carved in Chinese Soapstone
Another idea I want to run with is that of a Phoenix.  I have done a sculpture of a Phoenix in Chinese Green Soapstone and it was a wonderful thing to carve so I thought a similar design or a completely different design could be done in silver as well.  I took a couple of ‘casting in silver’ workshops last winter and fully intend on taking more this winter and also plan on working more fully with silver in the future.  The reason being  that I can work small and work in wax which is totally along the line in which I like to work because it’s three dimensional and there’s really no limit as to how much you can carve to make a piece interesting.



As I look around the house at some of the art I’ve done over the past years, in search of inspiration for silver work I’ve come upon some of my favourite subjects.  Many years ago while I was at the cottage and the Kawartha Lakes area was in the grip of a rainy session I was unable to work on my stone carving outdoors so rather than waste the days I turned to the age old art of papier maché.  Using coat hangers as armatures and strips of newspaper saturated in flour and water I worked over a period of two days on a group of characters that have great appeal to me…the beautiful Red-tailed Hawk, the wily Red Fox and the smart and whimsical Chipmunk.  I sculpted them with personalities and ended up with a vignette that’s kind of fun.  The hawk hangs from the ceiling close to the fox and the chipmunk and while one might say that these three creatures could be unfriendly toward each other in nature I have made them appear as friends.  It was a fun thing to do and with the use of some acrylic paint I was able to make these life-sized figures look quite convincing!

The cooler Fall air will start to dictate my clothing decisions soon.  It’s time for pulling on favourite sweaters, comfy jeans, warm socks and leather boots…my favourite way to dress.  Cozy clothing and crisp sunny days to enjoy the outdoors…that combination can’t be beat!  It makes such a difference when the air is cooler…everything looks and feels sharper…colours and tastes!  It’s great to be able to spend time driving around the countryside and stopping to take pictures of all the beautiful sights Ontario has to offer.  I’m not a great photographer and I only use a small digital camera but I get a great deal of inspiration from the photos I take.  By working on my computer, of which I couldn’t live without, I am able to get some interesting compositions by combining different photos.  I love working this way…using ‘artistic license’ or ‘borrowing from Peter to pay Paul’…in order to create just the right background or mood I want for a painting.  This pre-painting workup of ideas just adds to the overall enjoyment of doing the actual painting.

MONDAY:  I’ve read over this post and decided it’s time to actually ‘post’ it.  At some point within the next day or two I will start another session of ‘run-on’ entries but for now I have things to do that don’t involve my computer or the chair in which I sit…there’s the mundane (laundry, housework, gardening) and the fun (a golf lesson…fun, maybe?!) yet to fill my day. 

Hope you’re having a good day no matter what you are doing, where you are doing it or who you are doing it with.  Smile through the day and don’t forget to share your smile…if you do you’re guaranteed to have a REALLY GREAT DAY! 

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